Dave Grimland

About me…

07-02 Dave-CMC 3 e556 
photo by Carolyn Cole, Los Angeles Times

A few weeks ago, I published my first book Journey to Ithaka, about the interesting people and beautiful places I met and saw during my 28 years with the U.S. Information Agency.  I can sell you the book directly – I make just a little more money on books I sell from my stock of 250 copies, and I’d be glad to autograph each copy if you like.  Otherwise, you may order directly from the publisher (Lulu.com) or Amazon.com and enter either my name (“Dave Grimland” – not “David”) or the title (Journey to Ithaka) on the “search” bar. Whichever you buy, I’d enjoy hearing your reaction.  People who have read draft chapters tell me they’ve enjoyed it, even if they haven’t  traveled abroad.

My hope is that you will enjoy reading a book which by telling true stories of my first professional career fairly represents a unique foreign experience.  Friends have assured me that even for people who haven’t had to good luck to travel and live in foreign countries, Journey to Ithaka is an excellent way of experiencing the fantastic education of travel.


Born in New Mexico and reared in Texas, Dave Grimland earned his BA (1965) and MA (1967) degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.  He joined the American diplomatic service in 1967 and began a career with the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) serving as press spokesman, cultural officer and overall public affairs officer in American embassies.  In five of his five tours abroad, he served in countries with Muslim majorities or politically significant Muslim minorities. 

His first two tours abroad were in Athens, Greece and Nicosia, Cyprus, during which he became fluent in modern Greek.  In 1974, he was officially recognized for outstanding performance as Public Affairs Counselor of the American Embassy in Cyprus during the 1974 Greek-led internal coup, the subsequent Turkish military action and the months of Greek Cypriot civil unrest, including the assassination of the American Ambassador by Greek Cypriots and 19 violent demonstrations against official American offices in that country.

Between 1975-77, he undertook a personal leave of absence from the foreign service, during which he lived in Pennsylvania and studied both western philosophy and Islamic mysticism at Haverford College and at the Pendle Hill Study Center operated by Quakers (The Religious Society of Friends).  He was honored by Purdue University when he was 31 years old as one of 14 “Old Masters,” people who were considered to have succeeded early in their careers, and invited to discuss their personal goals with university students.

 Returning to duty with USIA, he learned Turkish and was assigned as Public Affairs Officer in Istanbul, Turkey (1980) and then to Dhaka, Bangladesh (1985), earning a Meritorious Honor Award for his innovative management of that extreme hardship post.  He was then posted as Deputy Director in New Delhi, India (1988), overseeing USIA’s largest overseas program in New Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. 

In 1992, he moved back to Ankara, Turkey as overall Country Director of the U.S. Embassy’s press and cultural offices in Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir, serving in that position until he retired in May 1995.


If you would like Dave to speak with your group, a program can be arranged by contacting him directly by eMail to his home in Columbus, MT at grimland.d@gmail.com.  He is prepared to offer presentations on Islam and Turkey, or do a book reading and speak about his continuing enjoyment of writing. (He’s completed his biography, continues to write essays and columns for the Billings Gazette, and is  now working on a second book, the working title of which is “Pivotal Moments.”

Written by davegrimland

December 30, 2007 at 12:35 am

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